Anita Sarkeesian is a media critic and the creator of Feminist Frequency, a video webseries that explores the representations of women in pop culture narratives. Her work focuses on deconstructing the stereotypes and tropes associated with women in popular culture as well as highlighting issues surrounding the targeted harassment of women in online and gaming spaces. Anita earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies at California State University Northridge and her Master’s degree in Social and Political Thought at York University.
Anita lectures and presents at universities, conferences and game development studios internationally. She’s been a presenter and panelist at various fan, media and technology conferences and has also facilitated and taught multi-day filmmaking workshops. She has been interviewed and featured in publications such as Forbes, Wired, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail and The New York Times. Her videos are freely available via the Feminist Frequency YouTube channel and widely serve as educational tools in high school and university classrooms.
In October 2018, Anita will release her new book, HISTORY VS. WOMEN.
Space Invaders: The Fight for a More Inclusive Gaming Industry
From the earliest days of video arcades to the most current home console hits, women have been treated as invaders in the male-dominated games industry; a reality that’s reflected in games themselves, and in the surrounding culture. This talk examines the past and present of gaming to illuminate how some bold industry intruders have begun to change gaming culture for the better, and what we need to do to continue making video games the inclusive industry that it should be.
Equality or GTFO: Navigating the Gendered Minefield of Online Harassment
It seems that whenever women on the internet dares to speak about social issues they are met with violent, aggressive and often invasive attacks. These large scale sexist harassment campaigns targeting women has seen a sharp increase in recent years. Because of her work on women in games, Anita Sarkeesian has become the ongoing target of a large scale vicious harassment campaign. In this talk, she will share her experiences to help understand, define and deconstruct how these hostile cyber mobs operate and offer some insights into why gendered harassment is so prevalent in gaming spaces and communities. She will also discuss the severe consequences to the women targeted and the larger community. Anita will conclude with some steps to help us move towards more inclusive digital spaces for all people.
I’ll Make a Man Out of You: Redefining Strong Female Characters
Over the past few decades there has been a significant increase in the number of television shows and movies that showcase female action heroes. These roles have helped transform and challenge historical representations of women in the mass media. But are these examples of StrongFemale Characters or are they just replicating traditional masculine archetypes in a sexualized, female body? In this lecture, Anita Sarkeesian will deconstruct the Strong Female Character and argue for a new character archetype that supports feminist values and breaks out of traditional oppressive gender binaries in order to promote, encourage, and envision a more just society.